Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

OAP distraught as youths trail pet dog behind bikes

Diarmuid Pepper

An elderly Newry woman is recovering from her ordeal after a gang of youths on bicycles snatched her pet dog while out walking and trailed the terrified animal along the road.

The incident occurred on Thursday as the lady was walking her pet along the Towpath when she was approached by a group of youths who had their faces obscured with hoods.  One of the gang snatched the dog’s lead from her hand and made off on his bicycle, trailing the howling animal behind him.

Condemning those responsible as “thugs”, Council Chairman and Sinn Fein Councillor Charlie Casey said the lady was left distraught at witnessing her beloved pet being mistreated.  This is the second time in a matter of weeks that she has been the victim of crime, as her house was broken into a few weeks ago, Mr Casey revealed.

Speaking about the incident, Councillor Casey said: “I was contacted by the family of an elderly lady who explained that she had been out on the Towpath close to The WIN Industrial Estate with her small dog when a number of youths with their heads covered approached her on bikes.  They proceeded to snap the lead of the dog from the lady and sped off trailing the dog along the ground. The lady was distraught as she watched the terrified dog being taken away.

“This lady was recently herself the victim of mindless anti-community elements and the family had brought the dog to her to try and get her out and about again. Now she has been left totally traumatised by this latest incident.”

Speaking to The Examiner, Casey added: “I called with her myself, I just wanted to have a conversation with her about it. We hope that people might be apprehended for this traumatic incident.  This is the second traumatic event that has happened in the last number of weeks. Her house was robbed and the family bought a little dog to try and help her recuperate and get her out and about more and regain her confidence and that happened. It’s terrible.”

The dog was later found cowering under a lorry trailer by the Carnbane Industrial Estate. “Thankfully the small dog was rescued by workers from the nearby Carnbane Industrial Estate when they heard the petrified dog cowering underneath a lorry trailer and they were able to contact the owners with information on the dog’s collar and return it to the owner,” the councillor added.

“I commend the workers for their quick thinking in this instance. I would appeal to anyone who has any information about the thugs involved in this incident to pass this information on as a matter of urgency..”